Friday, March 23, 2007

Savvy Indiana HS students get around censorship

Northern Indiana high school students moved toward publishing online material their school is refusing to authorize in print form, according to Beth King, Communications Manager for the Society of Professional Journalists.

"A student wrote an op-ed for the Woodlan Junior-Senior High School newspaper that called for tolerance of gays and lesbians," King writes. "Since the article’s publishing in January, the school’s principal has begun exercising prior restraint and has been named official publisher. Students have been refused the right to petition the school board and have moved toward online publishing. The newspaper’s adviser has been suspended."

SPJ President Christine Tatum also offered support:

"Banning and censoring content and demanding prior restraint are easy and lazy ways for educators to handle student media," Tatum writes. "There is time for more levelheadedness to prevail ... all we've seen so far is just another power struggle where educators clamp down on student media just because they can. What a shame."